December is well and truly over. The season of partying, over-indulgence, and festive cheer has ended. Now we’re left with a few more pounds around the waistline – and a lot less pounds in the pocket.
But don’t sweat it. Here’s a list of money-saving ideas to help you beat those January blues.
Cash in on unwanted gifts.
No one likes to appear ungrateful. However, it’s inevitable that at some point over the Christmas period, you received a gift that wasn’t quite what you’d been hoping for. If the sender was kind enough to throw in a gift receipt, make sure you trade it in for something you want whilst you can. That should help you cut down on your own spending.
No gift receipt in sight? Cash in by selling your unloved gifts online. Sites such as ebay.com and gumtree.com let you do this quickly and easily. Use the money you pocket to treat yourself in the January Sales, or put it away for a rainy day. Alternatively, you can browse the same sites for other people’s unwanted presents that are more up your street – often for much less than their original price.
And if you don’t want the hassle of having to sell online, you can always cheekily store away the gifts to pass on to someone more appreciative for future birthday or Christmas pressies – just make sure you don’t accidentally give them to their previous senders!
Shop when the prices drop.
Take a stroll through the high street and you’ll see big red letters plastered across every shop window in sight: ‘SALE NOW ON!’.
A little retail therapy in the January sales could be just what’s needed to brighten your post-Christmas spirit. And if you can’t face the thought of all those bargain-hungry shoppers racing around the aisles, online shopping is a great way to benefit from the seasonal discounts without getting caught in the chaos. You’ll even find extra offers to be had on top of discounted prices, with sites like vouchercodes.co.uk providing promotional codes for free delivery or further money off at certain stores.
Enjoy family time that money can’t buy.
A popular New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with loved ones. Fill your weekends with budget-friendly fun for all the family. Take an afternoon stroll through the woods, blow the dust off those boxed-up board games, or pull out a humble 52-card deck for hours of free fun.
If you’ve got little ones in your household (or if you’re just a big kid yourself), let imagination run wild and make something from the cardboard boxes leftover from Christmas. From home-made rocket ships to cardboard dollhouses, a quick search online should provide you with all the craft project ideas you could ever need.
Switch the big night out for a big night in.
We’re sure the festive party season brought you plenty of invites to big nights out.
Now it’s time to tighten the purse strings and give yourself a well-deserved rest from all those social demands. Swap an evening in a fancy restaurant for a cheeky take-away to warm up on winter nights. Pass up on expensive cinema tickets for a cosy movie night at home, with some of those leftover Christmas chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you received a bath set or pamper kit for Christmas, light a candle and indulge in a personal DIY spa night.
But what if you’re not quite ready to entirely give up December’s party vibes for a quiet January night?
Let the thrill of a casino get your heart pumping! Whilst a night out in a top venue can get seriously pricey, thankfully online casino games are on hand to deliver the excitement of play straight to the comfort of your home. Forget expensive taxi fares, over-priced drinks, and the cost of a glitzy new outfit. Spin the slots on your sofa, or play roulette in your pyjamas, and get the same adrenaline rush for less. What’s more, most sites give you generous welcome bonuses when you sign up, or even allow you to try out their games for free. That should keep you entertained without eating in to your wallet.
Hopefully we’ve proved there’s still fun to be had (even on a tight budget) around this time of year